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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  October 15, 2014 3:30am-4:01am EDT

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all. let's just point you to the direction of our website, it's aljazerra.com. there you will find all of the day's top stories. our top story we are covering here at al jazerra is the ebola out break. in west africa, read more about it at aljazerra.com. >> who is ready to drop everything to fight? that's inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. some of the richest and most
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powerful countries on earth are gathering intelligence, making war plans and getting ready to pound the army that's taken over much of northern syria and western iraq. have you seen the news reports, the convoys, the pick up trucks, the rocket -propelled grenades and machine guns. who are those guys? who is willing to drop everything back home and fight in northern syria? if you're a 22-year-old guy in chechen capital or the british capitol of london, what could someone say to you to get you to smuggle you are way into syria and join an army that is murdering its way across a big chunk of the middle east? the shutting off the flows of fighters loom as a strategic goal as important as shutting off the flow of weapons or
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money. >> president barack obama met with military leaders from 20 nations in andrews air force base . >> there is going to be a long-term campaign. as with any military effort there will be days of progress, and there are going to be periods of set back. but our coalition is united behind this long-term effort. >> reporter: tuesday's meeting followed another round of u.s.-led airstrikes in syria? in the strategic border town of doob, fighting between the islamic state of levan fighting testify. people have fled provinces since isil took glover th took over.
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>> the people have fled anbar province. it's tragic that a displaced people who have fled once, twice, three times, four times. >> reporter: throughout this sprawling battlefield they are what security officials call foreign fighters. militants attracted from the regions in far away places from europe, north africa and the u.s. there are 15,000 militants from 80 countries operating in those two countries now. the largest number of fighters have come from tunisia, saudi arabia and jordan. more than 100 fighters are from the u.s. alone. social media such as youtube, twitter and facebook play a large role in isil recruitment. there is one village in the south of france that shows the power of the message.
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18-year-old sarah grew up in a town where her family says relations turn ed sour when she demanded to wear a full islamic veil. she began looking herself up in her room with they are computer. one day she is disappeared. >> it's psychological kidnapping. i don't know how long sarah was indoctrinated. they must have told her various things and brainwashed her to reach this point. >> sarah said she's not coming back to france. if she does she could face terrorist charges. >> the new phenomena that i worry about are the fighters and threat of violent extremism here at home.
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those two phenomenon are things that our government needs to prepare for. >> passing a resolution to adopt laws to penalize foreign fighters. >> isil poses a significant threat to the people of iraq and syria. it pose as threat to surrounding countries, and because the number of foreign fighters an and the chaos that they are creating they pose a threat as far as australia where they have seen them impact on the other side of the world. >> the man and occasionally
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women grouped under the policy shorthand the foreign fighters, this time on the program. what do we know about them? how is isil speaking to them? is government dysfunction unemployment, poverty, as big a draw, as big a spur to fight as ideology? joining us with that conversation from london, spokesperson from the council of britain, from denver, professor of media studies at the university of colorado, the college of media communication and information. that's mouthful. professor, if we were to go on the worldwide web what would we find sweeping through there as far as messaging, appeals, the kinds of communication that actually get people thinkin thinking about this? >> absolutely. thank you again for the invitation.
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i think you would find a range of things. anything from youtube channels to twitter accounts that are very active. you would find very glossy magazine that have --that are very colorful. that have fresh content day in and day out with photos from the battlefield. with, you know, messages about the victories on the field, and you would find also blogs by these young women who are flocking to isis apparently wanting to marry these would -be martyrs. they're very proud of where they are. and you would find things, islamic state television channel which has different kinds of segments and slick and well-produced
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programs. >> let's say it is slick and well produced for arguments sake. what is the difference of someone who finds themselves in sympathy, moved even, and someone who will actually pack their passport, put together some clothes in a bag and get on a plane to go to a very dangerous part of the world? >> i think the issue to recognize to start with is this, often the narrative that we hear about these problems are problematic. i give you one example. we started this program talking about plans being drawn in tel aviv, and instantly you think, my god, how could you do that? that's simply going to be the biggest gift to isis because this is a classic example, especially when the memory of gaza is still so fresh, it gives a reason a possibility to
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present themselves as vanguard of islam, if you like. the other problem you have, you spoke about a young girl from france who flew out to join them, and on the report the moment she started putting full veil on and that sort of thing the relationship started to sour. what it does is give the perception some how if you're a conservative religious, you ought to be aligned with isis. that is saying that we have to break. so what happens is that the moment someone becomes religious or seen to be suddenly religious from a previously not so religious appearance and practice, if you like, some of them withdraw themselves from the wider society, and in isolation they get indoctrinated online. the ideas that are developed are not challenged because they're effectively secluded from the
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ordinary muslims. some of them eventually feel that they really ought to make the journey and join them. >> well, if there was any implication in our report that by becoming religious you're open to becoming a terrorist, that was certainly not our intention-- >> no, i wasn't implying that. >> but that part of the story was to illustrate that she had become alienated from her own family. >> the point i was making--the point i was make something this. i was not suggesting to you that you intended--i think the problem is this, the narrative has been such that if somebody who has not been very religious and suddenly becomes religious, then there will be mistrust and suspicion. and we have got to break that. what we need to state, and in the u.k. we have largely achieved is that isis does not
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represent any strand of islam in even if you take it in extreme. isis does not present islam. they do not stand for islam. and therefore somebody becoming religious in anyway, the families should not read any issues with that. and that should not cause the relationship to break down between people because ultimately if we really want to succeed we need to keep the relationship open and challenge those ideas in a reassuring and confident environment. >> as we continue our conversation we're now joined by mia bloom, professor of security studies. if we were able to whisk ourselves off to the middle east and after a hard day of fighting we're walking among th them, what would they tell us? what are some of the things we would hear from them about how they got there and what moved
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them to fight? >> on the one hand they talk about experiences of phobia, and at the same time on their social media accounts, they also discuss the fact that they don't enjoy living in the lie the licentious west, and this is not the life that they eke. now they can seek the caliphate and live the life of a muslim that is an ideal vision in their head. i want to add one thing.
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the idea of people becoming religious, that does not automatically make them at risk. but someone who doesn't islam, and they're not able to speak the language, to having a distortion of who they mean, i think its important that the fact that a non-religious person becomes religious or converts to islam does have a certain amount of risk in it, but not for some of the reasons that was said. >> let's talk about that idea from professor bloom further. this world that you enter, and it's a very subversive world. it's a world that when it's not even about terrorism and extremist messages, to leave your work a day world behind. does it help young people
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especially sort of breakaway the realities of having to get up and go to work, going to school, or having to deal with parental restrictions, where you are allowed to sort of enter a world where people are encouraging, enlivening, stimulating in a way that maybe minneapolis, st. paul, or the midlands of england aren't? >> yes, this is a very tantalizing world that they're exposed to. if you look a little bit into the websites and the youtube channels, and you're explosive of that world of imagination or imaginary, it's very much a fantasy world. many of these young people, particularly these people that we're calling foreign fighters or these foreign groups, they are trying to escape certain realities as your guest said.
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and they're trying to find some how a better world in their imagination, even though this involves quite a bit of bar be barbari barbaricty, and misguidance. for them fleeing the rattles of today means fleeing experiences of islamic phobia. you talked about that girl from france, from the south of france. i don't know all the details of how she became the person she became, and how she decided overnight that she wanted to first take a train and then board a plane into syria, but if you think about the situation of muslims in france, and the conversation and the debate about islam in france, obviously there are reasons out there for people to then--i'm not saying that this justified i what isis was doing, but it contributes to the radicalization and make
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people realize maybe there is another world somewhere. maybe we have to make the migration. maybe this world of hasn'tcy is a better word that way. >> we'll be right back after a short break. when we come back we'll take a look at the fighters finding their way to syria taking up arms under the black banner of the united states. there is no pension or college tuition or lifetime medical care. what clinches the deal for men and some women willing to put their lives on the line? stay with us.
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>> you're watching "inside story" on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez.
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how does isil afact fighters? what does it promise in return, if anything, and how important aa part is the war of isil understanding the deployment of outsiders. the united kingdom has been at this for a long time, trying to understand what's going on inside these communities, understand the appeals that are being made to these young people, have they been successful at all? >> i think--well, it's very difficult to say whether they've been successful. clearly there has been some success in terms of preventing, if you like, violent attacks. so there are claims that plots have been identified and dismantled, but i think the issue is this: one of the problems that we have is that there is a growing mistrust. certainly in the u.k. young people. not just muslims, but young people in the political and
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decision making arena, western young people, for example, they sense injustice and double standards. so going to look at isis and the debate is framed, some feel that isis represents a credible alternative to western determination. and so in on when you reinforce that narrative you do not succeed. one thing that has to happen, and we're saying that we deal with them in a security way, but we become pragmatic. i think there are reports that we need to deal with them but we should use these as opportunities to understand and realize what motivated them in the first place and why they've become demotivated. instead our government is talking about denying them ever coming back as british citizens.
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>> what about the ones who haven't left yet. yes, it be tough to be in manchester, birmingham, sheffield, but it's not as tough as riding across anbar province under american drones or jets. it's really tough, i think, looking at it as an outers to make the case that you're so oppressed in britain, and i understand that there are problems with alienation. >> i don't think people leave u.k. to go and fight with isis because they feel oppressed in such a way. and bear in mind that of the 3 million muslims only a few hundred dollars have traveled. but that's too many. when you look at the number it's not as high in that sense. but some people, they do become isolated and confined in their
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own rooms, and they feel a sense of grievance and in order to bring them out of that, what we need to do is to create an environment in which people can express their views without feeling of being critica criminalized. in the u.k. even an open debate on jihad could land yourself in difficulty, and many imams do not talk about these issues in mosque. these people who are radicalized online. their ideas are not effectively challenged because those who can challenge them, they do not do so for fear they will might fall on the wrong side of the law. i don't think that fear is justified, but it does exist. >> he makes a good point. it's a tiny percentage of people who are actually seduced by this message to the point where they're going to act upon it. do we know anything about what makes those people different from each other?
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the people who consume those messages and get up tomorrow morning and go to work and those who start to make plans to leave the country, whether it's tunisia or britain. >> there is a common thread. >> let mia bloom talk. >> it's important to distinguish the fact that the majority of the foreign fighters are not coming from britain or the united states as mr. ahmad has correctly stated. that's a small percentage but the majority of the foreign fighters are coming from turkey, the gulf, north africa, and they're local. what is motivating them may be very different than what is motivating the people who are living minneapolis or leaving the southeast of england. so part of it is this idealized version that they're being sold of what it will be like to live in the caliphate, but they're being offered worldly and
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otherworldly benefits of being a martyr. free houses, free electricity, water, all the benefits and all these wonderful things that they--tangible things, not just in the after life but in the current life. >> we'll be back with more inside story after a short break. when we return a look at the sending countries. some of them are concerned and want to shut off the flow of fighters. others might be glad when young hot heads leave their shores. still others share the goals of isil. stay with us.
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on "america tonight", is it too little, too late. the c.d.c. creates an ebola response team to improve hospital safety. >> for any hospital, any hospital that has a confirmed case of ebola, we'll put a team on the ground within hours. >> this as the group is monitored for the virus gets bigger, and the expected death toll worldwide climbs. also - paying the price for speaking up. they work at the most contaminated nuclear waste site in the country.

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